Many head to SWFL beaches ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

While Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in our military, it also marks the unofficial start of summer.

Many people at Fort Myers Beach Friday have gotten a head start.

“I like the water. It’s a lot warmer than we thought it would be,” said Tya Lucas and Paul Gore who were visiting from Texas.

But the warm water isn’t enough to get some to stick around for the actual holiday.

Some worry about the crowds the sunny weather will bring during the pandemic.

Cindy Weber and Meghan Morehead say they came out to the beach Friday to avoid the crowds this weekend and even still the beach is too crowded for them.

“It’s just not worth it,” said Weber, who lives in Estero.

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy expects this three-day weekend to be very busy, bringing a much-needed boost to local businesses.

“They’ve been down for so long here, so the restaurants are open now. The hotels are open. The short term rentals have just opened up again, so everybody, almost everybody is back in business now,” he said.

Beachgoers will still need to follow CDC guidelines: no groups bigger than 10 together on the beach and everyone needs to keep that six-foot distance. But visitors say it’s better than nothing.

“Try to make the best of it like it was any other day. That’s why we came together. We can have fun with each other we don’t need anyone else,” Lucas and Gore said.

Murphy says those CDC social distancing guidelines will be enforced. There will be beach patrols up and down the beach all weekend, making sure everyone isn’t gathering in large crowds and groups stay six feet apart.

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